Internships in Investment Banking in China

by Derek Loosvelt | March 31, 2009

Internships, which are typically an extremely important part of the recruiting efforts for global banks, do not play the same large role in China's investment banking industry. Normally, when people talk about internships, they actually are referring to the graduation internship, which is a type of class through which students go to work for a company for several weeks before their graduation, normally sometime between March and June. The purpose of this internship is to help students learn how to apply what they have learned in school to the real situation in the markets. Though this kind of internship may lead to the full-time job at occasions, it is often too late in the recruiting cycle and most companies have already completed their on-campus recruiting.

That said, the landscape has changed in recent years. As more and more Chinese securities firms come to realize the value of summer internship program for their full-time recruiting, they have begun to pay more attention to this opportunity to recruit top quality students. Generally speaking, the recruiting process for local securities firms' summer internship programs begins in March or April and lasts until June or July. However, except for at some large firms such as CICC, the recruiting process for summer internships at most Chinese securities firms is normally not as formalized as the full-time recruiting process. For those companies with no formal summer internship program, taking the initiative to contact the company or department head is the key to getting a summer internship opportunity.

Normally the summer internship will start in June or July and last to the end of August or even September, which is similar to the internship period for global firms. As for the internship itself, unlike global firms, most of the firms don't have a systematic training program and orientation period. In most cases, from the first day of the internship, the summer intern is allocated to a specific department, mainly in a role of providing support to the full-time employees. The summer internship can be an invaluable way for students to secure a full-time position since this is an excellent opportunity for them to learn about a firm's business as well as for the firm to get to know the student. Moreover, even if a summer intern is not granted a full-time job offer after the summer, the summer internship will still be a great advantage for a student during the full-time job hunting process.

Filed Under: Finance


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